When soap operas first began airing as radio dramas in the 30s and 40s, what appealed to the fans that tuned in daily or weekly was the personalities that came through the radio box.
The history of soap operas begins with the serialized radio dramas of the 1930s.
The radio dramas were usually aired in 15 minute segments each day and provided ideal "background noise" for housewives to clean house to whether they were sweeping, washing, cooking or mending.
The transition from radio to television came about slowly, and only two daytime radio dramas successfully made the transition successfully.
The genre transitioned to TV in the 1950s from the radio dramas of the 1930s and 40s and now includes daytime and prime time serial programs on both network and cable television.